8 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Welcome to Week 8! I had an exciting week since I went to my first prenatal appointment and had an ultrasound during which my doctor detected a fetal heartbeat (more on my visit below).
From here on out, you can expect to see the health care provider following your pregnancy once every month until your 28th week of pregnancy, upon which the interval will increase to twice a month. Have your first trimester pregnancy symptoms been driving you nuts? I’ve been fortunate to avoid morning sickness and sore breasts, but I am SO exhausted! Insomnia hasn’t helped, leading me to take naps at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Let me know in the comments how your pregnancy has been going so far.
8 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
|Acne||Bloating||Breast Growth||Cervical Changes|
|Cramps||Excess Saliva||Fatigue||Faster Heart Rate|
|Food Cravings||Frequent Urination||Heartburn||Heightened Sniffer|
|Mood Swings||Morning Sickness||Spotting||Tender Breasts|
8 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Headaches During Pregnancy
You may have hit your head on the side of the car door for the 1,000th time or you may have a pregnancy-induced headache. There are actually quite a few causes behind those headaches. Headaches can arise from hormones, low blood sugar levels (especially if you aren’t eating regularly), stress, or congestion in your sinuses. My doctor told me that it was acceptable to take Tylenol while pregnant, but you should consult with your doctor before taking any meds. If you are wondering, can I take ibuprofen while pregnant?, unfortunately the answer is no. I found placing a heated washcloth on my forehead, a warm shower, and drinking lots of fluids to be very helpful.
Constipation During Pregnancy
Beginning in week 8, your uterus places a ton of pressure down on your bowels and the pregnancy hormone relaxin causes your bowel muscles to relax. Altogether, this means that you will have more difficulty with bowel movements, leading to a back up on the interstate, if you know what I mean! Upon asking my doctor, can constipation cause back pain, he responded with a resounding yes, to be even more of a pain in the… back. As a proactive measure, drink lots of water and eat foods high in fiber, like fruits and vegetables.
Increased Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
During your 8th week of pregnancy, you may experience leukorrhea, which is an increase in the amount of discharge from your vagina. Vaginal discharge can be anywhere from odorless to slightly odorous and can have a creamy coloring. Leukorrhea is an important part of pregnancy — despite how much of an inconvenience it may be to your underwear — because it helps prevent your birth canal from getting infected. It is important to avoid using douches, tampons, or anything that might interfere with the production of leukorrhea, as this may result in a vaginal infection. Eww! Contact your doctor if you experience smelly discharge.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 8 Weeks
At week 8, your baby weighs less than .04 ounces and is .62 inches long, about the size of a raspberry. During week 8, your baby will reach an important milestone: all of its organs and organ systems will begin developing at some point during this week. While each system is maturing at a different pace, it’s still an exciting moment for sure.
If you get your ultrasound during your prenatal appointment this week, there is a good chance you may see some movement. Because your baby is still so tiny, you won’t be able to feel these tiny twitches. Your baby’s joints, bones, and cartilage are developing this week, adding strength and helping your baby move.
Your baby’s heart is also rapidly growing for you (aww!). During week 7, your baby’s heart will divide into two chambers and will increase the speed with which it pumps blood to approximately 150 beats per minute. That’s the heart rate you achieve during a vigorous cardio workout.
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
The duck-billed platypus is one of the only mammals on earth that doesn’t give birth to live young. Monotremes, like the platypus, are mammals that lay eggs!
My Pregnant Belly Progression
Check out my 8 weeks pregnant belly!
Pregnancy Cosmetics — What’s Safe and What’s Not!
During my first pregnancy, I began wondering about the safety of performing certain cosmetic procedures — from botox injections to something as simple as dying my own hair. With regard to injectable fillers or botox while pregnant, it is best to avoid them. While no studies have been conducted on the potential harm of botox or fillers on fetal development, the overwhelming majority of obstetricians encourage you to avoid such procedures.
But dying your hair while pregnant and getting facials are totally acceptable, with contingencies. Make sure you get the nod from your doctor before doing these procedures and ensure that the products being used on your skin or hair are pregnancy-safe and approved by your doctor (and avoid chemicals as much as possible). A word for the wise: your hair and skin are being affected by pregnancy hormones, meaning your skin will be more sensitive and your hair will react differently to products you use. So don’t be shocked if the face cream you’ve always used suddenly causes you to break out. Doctors typically encourage you to avoid dying your hair until after the first trimester is over, just in case.
Your Pregnancy at 8 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
Ultrasounds are screening tests that determine how old your baby is, how many babies you will be having, and if your baby is at risk for any structural abnormalities. A doctor will cover your abdomen in an ultrasound gel (it’s chilly) and use an ultrasound transducer or ultrasound probe to emit sound waves. These sound waves help create images of your baby. Ultrasounds typically occur once a trimester. However, you can be advised to have them more frequently if your pregnancy is high risk. Definitely make sure to ask your care provider for ultrasound pictures — they’re a great memento. For images from my eight week ultrasound, watch my video above.
Your 8 Week Ultrasound Appointment
During your 8th week of pregnancy, you’ll likely have your first ultrasound, which will give you your first glimpse of your little one! Early in your pregnancy, there are two styles of ultrasound that you may experience — either a transvaginal ultrasound or a 2D/3D ultrasound. I had a transvaginal ultrasound, which meant that a doctor slid an ultrasound transducer into my vagina. If you have a 2D/3D ultrasound, the one you’ve likely learned about, your doctor will rub ultrasound gel on your belly before moving an ultrasound transducer on top of your belly. An ultrasound during week 8 is definitely not a necessity, although it is helpful to identify your baby’s age and due date, which is most accurately calculated in the first trimester of your pregnancy. In addition, a week 8 ultrasound will look to ensure your baby’s heartbeat is there as well as to confirm that your pregnancy is viable (and not an ectopic pregnancy). I was thrilled to hear a heartbeat and get a due date calculated, which you can witness in my video this week.
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide: Healthy Foods for You & Baby
Quick, Healthy Meal Tip
Apple Slices with Peanut Butter: For a quick, healthy snack, slice up an apple and dip in peanut butter! Simple, but tasty and nutritious! (SnackNation)
Why Celery? In my opinion, celery is one of the most underappreciated veggies out there. This vegetable is a wonderful source of antioxidants, which are helpful in protecting your cells from free radicals (which can cause aging and cancer). Celery also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, due in part to the 25 different anti-inflammatory compounds it contains. It is also rich in nutrients, containing Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
How Many Months Is 8 Weeks?
Although doctors measure pregnancy based on weeks (not months), at 8 weeks you are around 2 months pregnant.
Week 8 Pregnancy Checklist
- Research & consider Noninvasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)
- Exercise (I’ve begun doing so at a lower intensity level)
- Keep track of your weight
- Exercise → squats are really helpful, I prefer yoga
- If you have headaches, talk to your doctor about using acetaminophen
- Schedule your week 12 prenatal appointment
- relax and pamper yourself
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists